Mothers make up some of the world’s biggest target consumer groups, especially across China and America − two of the top priority markets for the CPG parenting vertical.

Despite their importance for brands, recent research reveals 56% of American moms feel marketers don’t understand them.

To successfully reach this cross-generational audience, it takes harnessing a deep understanding of how they’re evolving.

Our latest guide, featuring fresh research conducted on over 2,000 mothers across China and the U.S., reveals some key imperatives to shape a winning CPG marketing strategy in 2019 and beyond.

1. Quality matters more than you think.

Knowing your audience in today’s climate takes a lot more than understanding demographics. For mothers, the key lies in quantifying these elements, shaping a data-driven strategy that speaks directly to them.

Our latest research shows that quality is the number one motivator for moms purchasing baby products in both China and the U.S.

Nearly 1 in 2 new moms in the U.S. and 2 out of 3 new moms in China say they have paid more for baby food they perceive to be higher quality.

While quality is still a top priority, U.S. moms are also highly motivated by price and convenience.

3 out of 4 U.S. moms name ‘value for money’ as a top priority when buying for baby.

This tells us when marketing to Chinese mothers, it’s essential for your messaging to keep the focus on quality. By bringing in food origins, safety standards, and organic ingredients, CPG brands can successfully tap into the core priorities of these consumers.

By contrast, marketing efforts geared toward U.S. moms will likely be more effective if they can link more practical considerations like value and convenience, without compromising quality.

2. Social media is a crucial channel.

For your message to cut through, it’s essential to know which channels will amplify your reach and streamline your spend.

For mothers, social media stands out as a key channel. Our research shows motherhood brings about an increase in social media usage.

40% of U.S. moms say they post more photos on social media after having children.

This is compared to 34% in China.

66% of Chinese moms actively use the popular social platform WeChat. This is more than the average Chinese internet user. What’s more, 48% of U.S. moms report actively engaging with Facebook.

But it’s millennial mothers who take the lead as the most active social media users.

Global internet users spend an average of about 2 hours and 37 minutes on social media daily. For millennials, that average jumps to 2 hours and 53 minutes − almost 3 hours a day.

This tells us any brand targeting mothers today needs to prioritise having a strong presence across the social media platforms most relevant to this audience. As a primary touchpoint along the consumer journey, the strength of your social strategy could make a significant difference in encouraging moms to purchase and beyond.

3. Online communities are key for brand discovery.

When looking at the most influential sources of information in the purchase journey for moms, it’s clear that digital channels are becoming increasingly important, especially in China.

Nearly 2 in 3 Chinese moms are looking to recommendations from other moms on social media as part of the research process.

Close to half of all U.S. moms also consider social recommendations to be an influential channel.

Similarly, we’re seeing more dedicated online communities for moms playing increasingly important roles in the discovery phase.

Parenting blogs and forums are influential sources of information for 58% of Chinese moms and 43% of U.S. moms.

This is key considering social communities have now surpassed online ads, TV ads, and parenting magazines for product discovery.

For brands to effectively engage modern mothers, they need to understand and tap into these communities.

4. Relevant and trusted content goes a long way.

The overarching focus on community is something that needs careful consideration when marketing to moms, especially when it comes to content.

As we now know, today’s moms are very open to recommendations.

More than half say that they’re easily swayed by other people’s opinion.

Their preference for personalized brand loyalty rewards also fits in here, suggesting moms appreciate brands that take the time to get to know them and the things they care about.

Our research shows that in China, the content most appealing to moms is that with a focus on food and nutrition.

58% of Chinese moms use meal planning/nutrition and recipe websites to help with parenting needs.

In the U.S. however, moms are more likely to refer to medical websites like WebMd for help on parenting issues.

This gives us clear insight into kind of content that appeals to mothers, and where different strategies need to come into play. Medical experts may prove effective for reaching U.S. moms, for example, while food influencers may be the best choice for reaching Chinese mothers.

Above all, trust is a major consideration for mothers. Brands who promote authentic, user-generated content, placing a core focus on reputation and quality, are sure to strike a chord.

Reaching the modern mother.

For CPG marketers in the parenting vertical, mothers make up a complex audience, spanning across many generations. But modern mothers aren’t impossible to reach.

The key lies in tapping into the online community that’s continuously taking precedence in the consumer journey.

It means harnessing a deep understanding of who these moms are and what really matters to them − something that can only be done with deep consumer insight that translates far more than their behaviors alone. Download the complete guide to find out how.

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